Students from Cedarville University’s industrial and innovative design, mechanical engineering and business programs have created a sustainable e-Bike made with a wood frame. They are rolling out their creation now at North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) — which runs March 10 to 12 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
E-Bikes are a new trend among bicycle riders. An e-Bike comes equipped with a battery and motor, to assist the rider in movement. The bike can function as a normal bike, but it can also be fully or partly operated by the motor.
Three teams are creating a bike with a wooden frame, rather than a metal one, along with Jay Kinsinger — associate professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Cedarville and wooden-bike craftsman.
Alex Camacho, associate professor of marketing, and a team of business students, are collaborating with Kinsinger to develop the marketing plan.Design #engineering students from @cedarville build #EBike of the future • #nahbs2017 #nahbs #framebuilding Click To Tweet
The idea for the e-Bike project originated with Kinsinger, who has been building award-winning wooden bikes for the past several years. After being elected to an entrepreneurial board last year, Kinsinger saw the opportunity for collaboration between engineering, business, and design students. The bike is the capstone project for six senior engineering students.
“This is the first capstone project with an emphasis in collaboration between majors,” said Kinsinger. “It’s a very open-ended project. There’s no answer in the back of the book for this one.”
“Each of our three programs — engineering, design and business — are interested in innovation and creating ‘real-world’ projects to enhance the student experience, but each of our disciplines bring something diverse and unique to the process,” said Jim Stevenson, president of the International Center for Creativity (ICC) and supporting instructor of industrial and innovative design for Cedarville students.
Trayton Ojala, industrial designer and project specialist at ICC and a 2014 Cedarville graduate, led the design.
“The project teaches students to lean on the expertise of others and to communicate outside of their own discipline – both of which are extremely important when trying to get a product to market with efficiency,” he said.
ICC students presented the final design concept on October 21, and engineering students are preparing to build the bike. Business students are looking for ways to market and sell it. One of the first places this will be tested is NAHBS.
“We’re going to check the demand and interest,” Kinsinger said. “I’m looking for orders.”
Kinsinger explained that e-Bikes are huge in Europe and Asia, and he sees a great potential market in the United States. “You still pedal, but the bike helps you,” he said. “The harder you push, the more it helps. In Europe, you see 70 and 80-year-olds cruising along on these.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited Christ-centered institution with an enrollment of 3,760 students. For more information, visit www.cedarville.edu. The University’s Industrial and Innovative Design program is located in Columbus, Ohio.